Week 4

You could encourage the new members of your Bhakti Vrksa who have now attended for 3 consecutive weeks, by sending them some e-mail messages, along with some short Krsna conscious messages.

You could also keep in touch by telephoning them once or twice during the week. A brief conversation would be enough to re –assure them of your on going friendship with them. You could also pay them a visit to their homes. You could take along some prasadam, photos, books, cassettes or other Krsna conscious paraphernalia like key -chains, etc.

This initial investment of your time is worth its while, because you will be later training them and delegating them the responsibility of caring for the new members.

So as example is better than precept, it also will help them to develop as good preachers.

Satsang: 15 minutes

You can have the following game this week:

Guess who

Ask all the members of the group to write 3, 4 or 5 true less known facts about themselves. Then ask them to fold their paper and put it in the middle of the circle. Mix all the papers and pick one. Read the facts. Whoever is the first to guess who is that person, gets a point. Whoever scores more points, wins. One can try to guess even before you finish reading the whole list of facts’ but if the guess is wrong, he/she can’t try again for that person.

Kirtana: 15 minutes

Continue as in the previous weeks by distributing the sheet containing the Pranama mantras and the Hare Krsna mantra as well as the glorifications at the end of the Kirtana.

Also the offering of incense by every member to the Altar Deities or Deity pictures.

Make sure that everyone is singing and taking part. You can encourage them to sing along, if they are not doing so.

Japa…. 15 minutes

Read out first, the following passage  from :

                            Sri Namarta  - The Nectar of the Holy Name

Page 11

The lack of religious principles in Kali – yuga is more than compensated by the process of chanting the holy name.

It is said that this age of Kali is three- fourths devoid of religious principles. Hardly one-fourth of the principles of religion are still observed in this age. But by the mercy of Lord Krsna, this vacancy of Lord Krsna has not only been completely filled, but the religious process has been made so easy that simply by rendering transcendental loving service unto Lord Krsna by chanting His holy names, HARE KRSNA HARE KRSNA KRSNA KRSNA HARE HARE / HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE, one can achieve the highest result of religion, namely, being transferred to the highest planet within the spiritual world, Goloka Vrindavana.

Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Before you begin chanting the mala with them, enquire from those who had taken the beads in the previous class, if they were chanting regularly. Ask those who have started to chant, to share some realization on how they felt after chanting regularly every day.

Appreciate their commitment, and ask again if any one else would also like to start chanting regularly at least one mala every day.

Then continue with chanting together one mala on beads the Hare Krsna mantra loudly with them. If there are any new visitors, then explain to them how to hold the beads and chant.

Even children enjoy chanting, so if there are any children around, make sure that they too take part in Japa as well as Kirtan together.

Spiritual Edification -   45 minutes

If there are children above 10 years, they may enjoy taking part in the discussion with the adults, but if there is a mixed crowd of younger children too, then it would be best if you have some one else to look after the children in another room, engaging them in Krsna conscious games, stories, kirtan, Krsna conscious video, etc.

Otherwise, the parents will be distracted, and the children will be very restless and noisy, thus spoiling your discussions. But if the children have a program for themselves, they will also gain in Krsna consciousness and will find the visit an enjoyable experience. This will motivate parents to continue coming regularly for the program too.

Please read out the passage and start asking the questions. (Do not explain it to them.)  Let the people assembled find out the answers from the passage themselves. Please engage everyone in answering. You can ask two, three people to add to the same answer. Move from one person to the next and give them sufficient time to think. You could ask leading questions for them to go deeper and clearer in understanding the subject matter and in giving relevant replies.

The application question has to be answered by everyone.

This is the most important part of the discussion, and so you must provide sufficient time of at least 15 to 20 minutes for it.

You should at last sum up all the points and give more points that you have

SPIRITUAL EDIFICATION

FROM SCIENCE OF SELF Realization

        BY HIS DIVINE GRACE A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI PRABHUPADA

Pg 146-

The transcendental vibration established by the chanting of Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare is the sublime method for reviving our transcendental consciousness.

As living souls, we are all originally Krsna conscious entities, but due to our association with matter from time immemorial, our consciousness is now adulterated by the material atmosphere.

The material atmosphere in which we are living , is called maya or illusion. Maya means “that which is not.” And what is this illusion? The illusion is that we are all trying to be lords of material nature, while actually we are under the grip of her stringent laws. When a servant artificially tries to imitate the all powerful master, he is said to be in illusion.

We are trying to exploit the resources of material nature, but actually we are becoming more and more entangled in her complexities. Therefore although we are engaged in a hard struggle to conquer nature, we are ever dependent on her. This illusory struggle against material nature can be stopped at once by revival of our Krsna consciousness.

Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare is the transcendental process for reviving this original, pure consciousness. By chanting this transcendental vibration, we can cleanse away all misgivings within our hearts. The basic principle of all such misgivings is the false consciousness that I am the lord of all I survey.

Krsna consciousness is not an artificial imposition on the mind. This consciousness is the original, natural energy of the living entity. When we hear this transcendental vibration, this consciousness is revived.

This simplest method of meditation is recommended for this age. By practical experience also, one can perceive that by chanting this maha- mantra, or the Great chanting of deliverance, one can at once feel a transcendental ecstasy coming through from the spiritual stratum.

As such this chanting should be heard from the lips of a pure devotee of the Lord, so that immediate effects can be achieved. As far as possible, chanting from the lips of non-devotees should be avoided. Milk touched by the lips of a serpent has poisonous effects.

The word Hara is a form of addressing the energy of the Lord, and the words Krsna and Rama are forms of addressing the Lord Himself.

The material energy called maya, is also one of the miulti- energies of the Lord; and we are also the energy, the  marginal energy of the Lord .

The living entities are superior to material energy. When the superior energy is in contact with inferior energy, an incompatible situation arises; but when the superior marginal energy is in contact with the superior energy, Hara, it is established in its happy, normal condition.

These three words, namely, Hara, Krsna, and Rama, are the transcendental seeds of the Maha mantra. The chanting is the spiritual call for the Lord and His energy, to give protection to the conditioned soul. This chanting is like the genuine cry of a child for its mother’s presence. Mother Hara helps the devotee achieve the supreme father’s grace, and the Lord reveals Himself to a devotee who chants this mantra sincerely.

No other means of spiritual realization is as effective in this age of quarrel and hypocrisy as the chanting of the maha- mantra: Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Discovery:

1)What does the Hare Krsna mantra do to our consciousness?

2)Why is our consciousness adulterated now? What do we think wrongly in this consciousness?

Understanding:

1)What happens when we try to exploit material energy?

2) How can we stop this great struggle over material energy?

3) Explain the meaning of the maha- mantra.

4) What makes the living entity happy? Why does the maha- mantra make one happy?

5) Why is it important for us to chant this maha- mantra?

Application:

Share your realization of how you feel when you chant the Maha-mantra during the kirtan or japa.

Preaching Session :  15 minutes

                            Preaching is the Essence

                His Divine Grace A.C. Bhakti Vedanta Swami Prabhupada

Page 13

The devotee’s interest is to actively preach Krsna consciousness:

He (the devotee) is not interested in so-called meditation in the Himalayas or the forest. Rather, his interest is in the busiest part of the world, where he teaches people Krsna consciousness.

The Krsna consciousness movement was started for this purpose…The members of the Krsna consciousness movement are not at all interested in the so-called meditation  in the Himalayas or the forest, where one will only make a show of meditation, nor are they interested in opening many schools for yoga  and meditation in the cities.

Rather every member of the Krsna consciousness movement is interested in going door to door to try and convince people about the teachings of Bhagavad Gita as it is, the teachings of Lord Caitanya.

That is the purpose of the Hare Krsna movement. The members of the Krsna consciousness movement must be fully convinced that without Krsna, one cannot be happy.

Bhag. 7. 9. 44

Prasadam :  20 minutes

You could give out the copies of the prasadam prayers to all the members and ask them to repeat the prayers after you.

Tell them a little about how when we offer the food to Krsna, Krsna accepts it with His eyes and returns the food back to us as prasadam. So it is very purifying. It is not ordinary food.

Also the qualification required for Krsna to accept the food from us... That we have to be a devotee.

This will make sure that they respect and honor prasadam, do not waste it, and appreciate the real spiritual mercy that they are receiving. This will help in their spiritual advancement too.

Proceed as usual serving them the prasadam with great care and love and attention, while engaging in friendly conversation.

Immediately after the members have left the program, kindly fill in the following report:

Please enter the details about your members attending this week:

No:

Members

Attendance

Current Siksa   status

Remarks